Business groups express support for mask mandate

HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF) – As health experts say wearing masks can save lives from COVID-19, something you might not think about is the impact it might be having on the economy.

“The facts are pretty clear around the importance of wearing masks and how that enables us to co-exist with the virus, but still enable the business environment and small businesses to remain open,” Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce President, CEO Christy Gillenwater said.

Hamilton County officials recently extended the mask mandate for the county.

It’s a move that’s getting collective support from numerous business organizations.

“We feel that economic prosperity in our community is directly tied to people wearing masks,” Gillenwater said.

“The home building industry makes up a significant part of virtually the entire US economy, but even focus more on the Chattanooga area probably a little higher than average across the country,” Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga Executive Officer Doug Fisher said.

The Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga is one of multiple business groups supporting the mandate.

“We don’t look at the mask mandates so much, you know, it’s all about government telling us what we’ve got to do. It’s more about keeping business going, keeping the industry moving and our economy going,” Fisher said.

The Chattanooga Area Chamber is a membership organization of over 2,000 businesses.

They surveyed their members about masks and found that 85 percent felt that masks build consumer confidence.

And, 85 percent support the mask mandate.

“That was a real strong message to us that we needed to stand up and come alongside the county health department and county Mayor Coppinger and let them know how important the mask mandate is to our small businesses,” Gillenwater said.

County officials have extended the mandate to October 8th.

Categories: Chattanooga, Featured, Hamilton County, Local News

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